Sunday, December 30, 2012

going radio silent

The sky in Santa Fe this morning is uncharacteristically gray.  I can't see a speck of blue through the clouds and I'm pretty sure that means more snow is coming.  Which is fine with us because we're heading out on a winter adventure.

Tomorrow we drive north to Chama, where Rita and Jim will teach us to cross country ski.  Then we move on to the Spruce Hole Yurt for three days of clean snow, dark nights, heat from a wood stove, and no cell service.  I've got my new, lightweight tripod, a Kindle full of books, and a few ideas I want to write about.

Is it only me, or does that sound like heaven?

We'll be back in touch on the 5th.  Pictures to follow.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

walk with me

I love to walk.  I walk a lot.  When I have to get someplace in the city, I walk.  But after a few days in NH (where I tend to just hop in the car) I needed to get outside, get moving, get chilly.  So I took a walk.

I began with a purpose.  There's a reliable oyster-mushroom-producing-tree about a mile from my parents' house.

En route, I noticed other edibles.  Some still available,


others not.

As I left the road and headed into the woods, my focus turned from edible plants to the things a New Englander takes for granted:

uneven stone walls leading through an oak forest;

ground pine and partridge berry;

lichen and pine needles to remind you the air is clean and the soil acidic;

moss and oak, oak and moss;

the last light of the day illuminating tenacious beech leaves.

It was almost dark when I got back to the house.  I love the woods of Pennsylvania, but they're not the same.  Not like home.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Before the feijoa can be jugged, the blueberry must be bottled.

That's not a world wide wine rule, but I have a limited supply of one-gallon jugs so I'm frequently forced to juggle batches of wine at various stages of readiness.  I started both feijoa and elderberry last weekend, and the feijoa was ready to be jugged this morning.  (The elderberry needs another week in the primary.)  Alas, there was no empty jug, so I checked the notebook and saw that last year's blueberry was a good candidate for bottling.

It was crystal clear, with almost no lees at the bottom of the jug.  And what color.  I stole a sip as I siphoned and it's already good.  I'll let it age for about a year, opening half bottles at six-month intervals to check on its progress. 

The feijoa is now bubbling away in secondary fermentation.  It's cloudy today, but as the yeast and fruit settle, I expect it to turn a clear, pale yellow.  I kind of made up the recipe for this one; if it's tasty, I'll post it.

(This should have been the opening photo:  feijoa solids being strained from the must.  But it looks so much like vomit, I couldn't bear to lead with it.  If you've read this far, you can probably handle a little vomit.) 

Friday, December 14, 2012

attention must be paid

 Who me?

I'm not doing anything.

Just looking out the window.